April 22, 2024



The World’s Very first and Only Dwell On Board Dive Rig

11 min read

All through my two many years of backpacking all over Southeast Asia in my mid-twenties, I absolutely fell in appreciate with Malaysia. So a great deal, in point, that I ended up utilizing Kuala Lumpur as my backpacking property base, had a reliable crew of expat buddies, and beloved heading out for weekend getaways or extended journeys to popular locations like Penang, Langkawi and the Perhentian Islands.
But when my mates advised me they had been embarking on a scuba-diving excursion (9 many years back) to a compact island off the coastline of Borneo, Malaysia, I wasn’t capable to go. Mostly mainly because A) I wasn’t qualified, and B) I didn’t feel like investing a ton of money to pay a visit to a place that is principal attraction is a little something I couldn’t partake in. 
That was the to start with time I ever read of SIPIDAN.

I recall chatting with them on their return, and as they shared their wondrous scuba-diving tales, I bear in mind imagining that just one working day I’m certain I’ll inevitably make it there and experience it for myself.
Properly, that desire has eventually arrive legitimate, and I’ve officially crossed Sipidan Island off my travel and scuba bucket list!
And even though the diving is truly up coming level, what built this vacation so one of a kind and memorable was reserving my vacation with Seaventures.

Seaventures Dive Resort
How did I close up here…?

I’m currently on just one of my 3+ month wintertime getaways in Indonesia (since I’m not a admirer of the Seattle gloom), and was scheduling on likely diving with a friend in Nusa Lembongan. I was talking about my upcoming programs for a visa operate/dive trip to Sipidan Island, and 1 of the dive instructors commenced telling me how much she cherished the diving up there.
She then commenced to explain to me about this “oil rig that’s similar to a liveaboard” and advised I glance into being there. Unnecessary to say, I was intrigued. 
I bought back to the resort and began my investigate, and which is when I discovered Seaventures!

Just after browsing Seaventures website and examining out their social media — it was finished. I realized I Had to stay there. I really like one of a kind stays and encounters (who doesn’t?), and I was stunned that I experienced in no way read of this spot ahead of!
It’s a decommissioned oil rig off the coast of Mabul Island which has beeen converted into a dive resort/floating lodge, and it’s actually a a person-of-a-kind experience. Although there are lots of excellent resorts that present bucket list diving out to Sipidan Island, there is merely nothing else in the entire world like the Seaventures Dive Rig practical experience.
So let’s dive into what makes this a Will have to-Stay!

The Seaventures Dive Rig 
I necessarily mean, the place to even start out?
From the moment I stepped off the boat, onto the lift, and into the Dive Rig – I knew I was in for a deal with. I was supplied a complete tour of this one of a kind ponder, and I need to say it is a whole lot bigger than pictures make it appear to be! 

There are four ranges to the dive rig, but the greater part of the time was invested on Deck 1, which is exactly where all the scuba tools is held, and exactly where you will discover the digicam place, rental counter, dining region, team office environment and access to the carry. 
I particularly cherished the primary dive location with maps of the a variety of islands, dive web pages, and the epic property reef (a lot more on that later). Absolutely everyone gets their have cubby/ space to continue to keep their pounds belt, mask, fins, dive computer system and other vital dive equipment. There is also a spacious spot for showering after dives, and new drinking water to rinse your wetsuits, essential to steer clear of wetsuit rash. 


The Sunlight Deck 
I under no circumstances skipped a sunset!
Just after a lengthy day of scuba-diving, there is no greater location to relaxation and take it easy on the rig than up on the gorgeous solar deck! Supplying plenty of seating and tables, hammocks, and comfy lounge chairs, I located myself up in this article each and every night and the sunsets were being spectacular. 
The sun sets suitable in front of the sundeck, and it is these a tranquil look at as you marvel at the skies transforming hues. It was also gorgeous getting equipped to glimpse above to Mabul and see its iconic overwater bungalows. 

Sipidan Scuba Diving | “Sipidan Days”
Sipidan Island is entire world well known for its diving, and rightfully so, as it genuinely is an underwater Eden! Though it’s rather a great deal always provided on listicles for the very best diving, Sipidan Island has even been voted the #1 dive place in the environment! 
It’s Malaysia’s only oceanic island, with remarkable 600m partitions dropping to the seabed, and it is household to a huge variety of maritime life that will surely continue to keep you coming again for more diving visits.

Sipadan Park Permit
When some fellow scuba divers could now be mindful of this — I experienced no clue how tough it can be to get a allow to go diving in Sipidan, specifically during the busier seasons of the calendar year. This is an important element of scheduling a dive vacation to Sipidan, as it will impact the size and charge of your excursion. 
For case in point – when booking with Seaventures, each eligible guest will have to invest in a minimum amount of a 3 consecutive night diving deal to be qualified for a 1-Working day Sipadan Allow warranty with Seaventures.

I visited for the duration of reduced time so I was privileged to be capable to procure yet another move for the duration of my 4-night time continue to be, but I know I wouldn’t have been so blessed if I had frequented later in the yr.
The allow costs an supplemental 450 MYR ($95 USD) and only includes two dives, which was only just recently diminished from 3 dives per allow.
It is also required that you are an Highly developed Open Drinking water (AOW) diver to take a look at Sipidan Island.

Sipidan Scuba Diving Days
Every single working day with Seaventures involves 3 boat dives, so on the days you get the 6AM departure out to Sipidan Island, you’ll do two morning dives there and then the future dive will be at possibly Mabul or Kapalai Island. 
I did four dives complete at Sipidan, at the well known dive websites Barracuda Position, South Position, North Point, and Hanging Back garden. Whilst my initial working day at Sipidan was a tad underwhelming, my 2nd working day at Sipidan is what confident me how special this position actually is. 

Large schools of fish, sharks and turtles galore await you, and an abundance of coral and marine lifetime that is unique and only impressive.
My Sipidan Highlights: Swimming amongst – and becoming surrounded by – the major college of fish I’ve at any time seen, recognizing a sleeping leopard shark, as well as two distinct faculties of the legendary humphead parrotfish.

Mabul & Kapalai Scuba Diving
Sipidan, Mabul, and Kapalai are the crowning glory of Malaysia’s strong underwater realm.

Seavenutes Dive Rig is positioned just off the coastline of Mabul Island, and a 10-15 moment boat journey absent from Kapalai Island. For the times when you don’t have a allow to dive at Sipidan, you will do your three boat dives about a person of these two areas.
While they are not very as epic as Sipidan, they still give jaw-dropping dive web sites and are significantly well known for macro-diving (smaller maritime everyday living), and this is significantly from boring. 
During my 7 dives all around Mabul & Kapalai, we encountered numerous nudibranches, turtles, moray eels, lionfish, crocodile fish, cuttlefish, blue noticed stingrays, clown fish, parrot fish, stone fish, furthermore so substantially far more incredible marine everyday living!

Seaventures Dive Rig Home Reef 
One particular of the coolest features of remaining with Seaventures is that it contains Limitless dives at the property reef, which is situated right underneath the oil rig!

All you want to do is to get your tools ready, grab a dive buddy, talk to the elevate operator to decreased you down and to step correct off the vessel to dive specifically beneath it! I did this dive 4 instances in total, two in the course of the working day and two evening dives. 
Comprehensive with compact boat wrecks, an previous car or truck, a “playground”, and a plethora of maritime daily life, it’s this sort of an epic dive web site that has plenty to give! 

Night Diving
My only regret about my time on the dive rig was not likely night time diving on all four nights!

I’ve only been night time diving a handful of periods, but it’s such a thrill that can be really hard to explain. Even though it is certainly overwhelming and can be a small scary at times, night time diving is these an insanely special practical experience and I could not advise it adequate. 
Following jumping off the carry and swimming about to the entry issue, you are going to start to descend into pitch-black drinking water only lit by your dive gentle. On the way down, it truly felt like we had been floating by way of place, as visibility was so lousy, and the only thing you could see have been very small specks that resembled stars in the sky. 

Even though the initially night time dive was superb, our second stole the show and ended up currently being my most loved dive of the full excursion (excluding Sipidan) as we finally noticed two distinctive octopuses! I’ve been diving A Whole lot the previous year and for some cause, have been actually unfortunate with obtaining these 8-tentacled aliens! Until eventually now!
Apart from that, we observed cuttlefish, lion fish, hermit crabs, moray eels and a ton more underwater critters as we were being checking out the dive internet site and the quirky spots in it. 

The Rooms
Just like any dive resort or liveaboard, there are going to be diverse forms of rooms out there. I stayed in the Typical Twin Sharing Place and have no grievances at all! 
The beds and linens were genuinely snug, the air-conditioning worked flawlessly, and there was a lot of space for all my things. Then once again, I experienced the twin share room to myself so it would be a minor extra cramped with two folks in it.
Although I was on board Seaventures were being renovating a few rooms that I took at a glance at, and they are genuinely stepping up their lodging.

The Meals
When you guide a dive package with Seaventures all of your foods are included, which to my delight were all buffet-design!

Just about every meal presented a sort of hen/beef and fish dish for protein, refreshing fruit, rice, soup and salad, and there’s even a refrigerator with freshly-designed desserts you can assistance you to at any time. Remarkable!
Although I, however, wasn’t on board during peak season, Seaventures is identified in the location for their BBQ nights and occasional reside songs. A fantastic rationale to make a vacation back in the upcoming!

In concerning foods, there’s also a small range of treats/frozen ice-creams for sale. If you’re a hungry hippo like I am, I would endorse going to a grocery keep in Semporna to stock up on treats prior to getting on the transfer boat. 
What is it about diving that can make me SO hungry…?

Price/ Price For Cash
Even though diving in Sipidan is one particular of the far more expensive locations to dive in Southeast Asia, it is nevertheless an very cost-effective in comparison to other scuba/ liveaboard trips. 
Here’s a general thought of what you’re likely to invest.
These are the 2024 costs.

4 Days/3 Nights Seaventures Diving Package deal: RM3,975.00 For each Diver ($837 USD)
5 Times/4 Nights Seaventures Diving Bundle: RM4,875.00 For every Diver ($1,027 USD)
6 Days/ 5 Evenings Seaventures Diving Package: RM5,830.00 For each Diver ($1,228 USD)

These rates involve land and boat transfers from Tawau Airport/Semporna Jetty, all of your foods and ingesting drinking water, moreover tanks, bodyweight belt, and weights.

NOT Involved – Your mask, fins and dive computer system will have to have to be rented, if you never have your personal. The above packages do not involve the Sipidan Allow Price of 450 MYR. 
General — if you include up all the charges of the transfers, accommodation, what you generally shell out on foods, and 3-5 dives for each day – it’s a stellar offer! 
I know of many liveaboards that cost thousands of pounds for 5-7 evening visits, so Seaventures is a definitely finances-welcoming dive journey in comparison.

Finding to Seaventures Dive Rig
The dive rig is located a 40-moment speed boat excursion from the little city of Semporna in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. 
You’ll have to have to e-book flights to/from TAWAU AIRPORT (TWU), which is serviced by dozens of flights per day, operating from Kuala Lumpur & Kota Kinabalu. I’d suggest checking Skyscanner for the cheapest flights, as I flew there with AirAsia & Batik Air Malaysia on the way back again. 
Tawau Airport to Semporna is an 80-moment drive or so, depending on targeted visitors, and if you can come across an right away flight that arrives in the AM, you can help save on your own the expense of a night time of accommodation and head straight to the jetty for the 10 AM transfer to the rig. That is what I did not do, and want I experienced. 

Seaventures Dive Rig Guidelines & Packing Checklist
I often delight in ending my opinions with some strategies and ideas for maximizing your knowledge. Just after not long ago acquiring the most unbelievable 4-day journey with Seaventures, right here are my major vacation ideas and other critical pointers…

Spend in your personal dive laptop. I at last received my individual not long ago as a Christmas reward, and I like it so considerably! It is a necessity that each and every visitor has their personal dive laptop, so if you really do not purchase a person you will have to rent one. 
The fins that I wore from Seaventures finished up providing me a gnarly blister on the back of my heels. So both bring your possess or set water resistant bandaids on your heels in advance of putting on your fins.
I’d recommend shopping for some ear drops for scuba diving to assist with any pain and avert ear bacterial infections.
Pack some snacks to continue to keep in your area.
Deliver a fantastic book! Once you are performed with your Sipidan times (and if you do not dive the house reef), there is a lot of downtime.
Carry along a GoPro or underwater digicam. The pictures opportunities are truly incredible below, and you’ll want to capture it all!

Have you been to the Seaventures Dive Rig/Sipidan ahead of?
I would enjoy to hear from you men about what you savored most about your encounter! 

Thanks so substantially for looking at my Seaventures Dive Rig assessment!
This was truly a just one-of-a-sort knowledge that I totally believe deserves to be on any keen diver’s bucket checklist.
Be confident to stick to alongside on my Instagram for extra epic scuba-diving visits!




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